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The Fifth-Column Mouse is a 1943 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng.

Plot

A pleasant group of mice are enjoying various water sports in a kitchen sink, while singing the song "Ain't We Got Fun" in unison. Lurking nearby is a sinister black-and-white cat who gains the confidence of a dim-witted grey mouse. The cat persuades the unsuspecting rodent to tell the other mice to become the cat's slaves, and the cat promises a never-ending cheese supply in return.

The grey mouse (who much more resembles a rat) follows the cat's orders, but he soon finds out the cat's true intentions—to make them his dinner. At this point, the grey mouse finally realizes that the cat betrayed him and went back on the deal. The mice then form a united alliance against the cat as both sides prepare for war, where they defeat the cat by chasing him with a battleship resembling a bulldog and shaving the cat from head to toe with an electric shaver.

Having triumphed victoriously against the cat, the mice celebrate their victory, but when the grey mouse says "We dood it!" however they furiously throw a cream-pie right in the grey mouse's face, perhaps due to his betrayal towards them.

Caricatures

Censorship

  • Syndication airings of this cartoon (as well as airings of this short on TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang in America) omitted the part in which the grey mouse refuses the cat's deal of all the cheese that the mouse wants in exchange for leading the mice population to appease the cat, but the cat forced him to accept the deal, followed by, "NOW, GET GOING!"[1]. The reason behind the edit in this scene is perhaps to remove the part where the cat briefly makes a Japanese caricature-like face in a few frames, as well the grey mouse doing a Hitler salute at the end of this scene; the edit goes from the cat whispering into the grey mouse's ears a deal of all the cheese that the mouse wants in exchange for leading the mice population and then it fades over with a fake fade-out to the next scene where the grey mouse telling the other mice to be the cat's slaves [2]. Other CN/Boomerang feeds outside America (evident by the video in the infobox) however aired this scene uncut.
  • When the film was re-released in 1950, a small line of dialogue was cut during the "Ain't We Got Fun?" musical number. The original line was "Down with the Axis, we're all glad to pay our taxes."[3]

Availability

Streaming

Goofs

  • When the mice are serving the cat, the cat sits up and a mouse passes through his head.

Notes

  • The USA 1995 dubbed version is on The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vol 5 LaserDisc, although it was previously released on Bugs and Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons VHS and LaserDisc with its original BR ending card intact. Prior to its release remastered and restored on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 6, the latter home media release was the only official home media release of the cartoon to survive its original BR ending card. Meanwhile, its original a.a.p. print survives on Cartoon Network Latin America (albeit with censorship as for syndication airings (see "Censorship" for more details), and the EU 1995 dubbed version keeps its original BR ending card, unlike the USA 1995 dubbed version.
  • The European 1995 Dubbed print retains its original reissue ending title card (without the Dubbed notice), despite having spoken dialogue lines [5]
  • As with most cartoons of the time, this cartoon is laden with wartime references, and blatantly filled with Nazism themes. The cat represents Adolf Hitler, while the grey mouse (who much more resembles a rat) represents all of the people who choose to appease Adolf Hitler, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to be actuate, while the brown mouse who rails every one to fight the cat represents Winston Churchill, and the rest of the brown mice on the other hand represent the Jews.
  • When the cat is shaved near the end of the short, the remaining tufts of hair represent from right to left, dot-dot-dot-dash, Morse code for V (V for victory), representing the mice's victory against him.
  • The scene where the mice shave the cat from head to toe with an electric shaver at the end of this cartoon is very similar to how the cat which chased Sniffles got shaved from head to toe by the electric shaver in "Naughty but Mice" (1939).
  • This cartoon entered the Public Domain in 1971.

Gallery

References

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